Saturday, September 1, 2012

Because You Matter

I have wanted to blog for ages, but every time I open my laptop something more important (like studying) will come up. Or  I'm too tired to think of something to write about after doing other thing (like studying). Besides, I don’t really have much to write about because all my time is taken up by other things (like studying).

But while randomly playing songs on my laptop, I hit this song.

I'm gonna live forever 
I'm gonna learn how to fly 

I feel it coming together 
People will see me and cry 

I'm gonna make it to heaven 
Light up the sky like a flame 

I'm gonna live forever 
Baby remember my name 

We have been brought up with the whole ‘rat race’ mentality. That if you do not exert ourselves and make our presence felt, we are nothing.  We want a huge neon flashing light above us which goes, I AM AWESOME AND YOU KNOW IT. It’s a competition of the bests, where second place is never noticed. We step on each other to reach the top. Because the ultimate aim of the rat race is this– PROMINANCE.

There is just one problem though.

The thing about rat races is, even if you win the race, you’re still a rat.

In our chase to be known, we forget what it is we want to be known for. What legacy will you leave behind? How will you be remembered in the end? Mother Theresa was prominent, but so was Hitler.

For me, I think what we should aim for isn’t prominence – it’s SIGNIFICANCE.

And to be that, you need to have a dream. Because anything that is real began with a dream. A passion for some change that you wish to see. That becomes your driving force, it’s not just the goal of succeeding on personal terms, it’s the vision that something can be done about the status quo. Remember, evil triumphs only when good people do nothing.

One of the most inspirational speeches ever given in history would be that of Martin Luther King Jr.

‘I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." ‘

‘I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.’

‘I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of 
injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.’

‘I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.’

‘I have a dream today.’

‘I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.’

‘I have a dream today.’

‘I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.’

‘This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.’

‘This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." '

Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated and he never got to see the first black President of USA. But this was a man who changed history, who got off the rat race onto a higher calling. Who wasn’t afraid to dream.

I may be only one, but I am still one. And because I am one, I will not refuse to do the one thing I can do.

Because not everyone is prominent, but everyone is significant.

Will your life count for something today?

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Shouldn't Have to Defend Myself

It's been ages since I've written anything but I've good reason to do so today.

Much has happened over the first few months of the year. But let's have a quick recap shall we?

I have:

  • Finished with college
  • Stressed about results
  • Gotten my results
  • Stressed about confirmation from JPA about flight date
  • Got confirmation from JPA about flight date
  • Stressed about leaving

So who says bumming is easy? Haha!

I guess it's pretty obvious that this blog's writer is leaving and soon. I'm flying off the India in less than 2 months to do what I've always wanted to do - be a doctor.

Of course this decision has been questioned, debated, challenged and mocked even. I often wonder why it's met with such hostility but then again, every decision one makes will always be second guessed by everyone else.

The first admonishment I always receive is, WHY INDIA?


Because it's dirty? Because it's a third world country? Because buried deep inside you is the belief that white equals superior? And being dark equals inferiority?

Shame on you.

I remember I told God that my dream to be a doctor is in His hands and that I believe He will send me wherever He knows I'll be the best doctor I can be. And He sent me to India. And no matter the naysayers and gloom doom prophets, you cannot deny that the clinical training there is the best in the world. And if there are prospective medical students not comfortable with the dirt and grime of the poor, I say, don't be a doctor. Our priority should first and foremost be them, because they need us most.


To that I say, BECAUSE I CAN. My scholarship is a gift from God, something I've prayed hard about since I was in high school. I've worked hard for it, cried hard when I didn't manage to get it the first time, praised God when He gave it later, and guess what? I continued working hard. I didn't take it and squandered the opportunity away. I like to believe I had lived up to the expectations my sponsors have and God's call to be excellent.

And for those who have came up to me and said, "Oh, I don't want this scholarship," let me ask you, "Do you even qualify for it?" Don't belittle us who have worked hard and long to be able to be called a JPA scholar. We shouldn't have to defend ourselves for accepting a scholarship that's a tremendous blessing from God.


This is just priceless. I can understand sometimes why doctors keep discouraging youngsters from following in their footsteps. It's this money-minded mentality that being a doctor equals BIG BUCKS FAST. As a JPA scholar, I am bonded to the NATION for 10 years of service. Notice nation is in caps. And who in the nation needs the medical service the most? Again I return to the aforementioned point, the poor. And they will be found in the government hospitals. If you don't intend to serve the poor, don't be a doctor.

Of course, the subtext behind the question is, DON'T YOU WANT TO LEAVE THIS COUNTRY?

NO, I DON'T. I was born here, I know no other place to call home. As much as I know there a sick people outside, there are sick people right on our doorstep too. And if we all run away, who will take care of them? I have no problem with the 10 year bond because I have no intention of serving anywhere else.

In all honesty, I shouldn't have to defend myself for the decision to go to India to study medicine under a scholarship from JPA. I am grateful that God has given me this wonderful privilege to do what I always wanted to do, without putting a burden on my parents.

I hope this post will encourage anyone who has had similar decisions questioned. Remember, the scholarship is a gift, see it as such and keep working hard because you owe it to God.